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African Initiatives

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Peter Van Arsdale
Peter Van Arsdale
[email protected]
African Initiatives Director

Peter Van Arsdale oversees African Initiatives and co-founded the Josef Korbel School's Humanitarian Assistance program. In these capacities, as well as in his role as Adjunct Professor, he imparts his expertise on humanitarian aid, complex emergencies, human rights, community development and cross-cultural relations, especially with regard to refugee and immigrant populations. He also focuses on civilian-military collaboration in humanitarian assistance. 

Professor Van Arsdale's latest book, "Humanitarians in Hostile Territory: Expeditionary Diplomacy and Aid outside the Green Zone" (2010, with Derrin Smith), approaches this subject and more. His imprint is found in a number of African Initiatives' partner organizations, revealing his Africanist character. He is involved with the DU Kibera Project, MaiMisham, and acts as faculty advisor for Students for Africa. Additionally, he is co-founder of The Denver Hospice.

Lottie Dungan

 Lottie Dungan
 [email protected]
 African Initiatives Associate

Lottie Dungan is a second year graduate student pursuing a Master's of International Human Rights with a regional emphasis in Africa, specifically central and eastern Africa. Lottie has concentrations in International Development and Nonprofit Management, plus French language proficiency, which she hopes to use in francophone country development in the future. Lottie has a wide range of interests including Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH);Transitional Justice and Peacekeeping; along with interests in migration and asylum issues. Lottie is an Oklahoman holding a B.S. in Human Development and Family Science and Minor in French from Oklahoma State University.

Lottie is currently involved in several different student groups at Josef Korbel School of International Studies both as an African Initiatives Associate and as a Co-President for the Korbel Asylum Project. She is personally and professionally passionate about development in Africa and hopes to contribute to research and development policy after receiving her Master's.


Melody Delaney
Melody Delaney
[email protected]
Event Coordinator, African Initiatives

Melody Delaney is a second year graduate student pursuing a Masters of International Development. As part of her degree, Melody will be joining the Peace Corps in Fall of 2017 to further her research with East African conflicts and their ramifications on targeted communities.

Melody attained her undergraduate degree from the Florida State University College of Music and hopes to combine these two radically different degrees to study cultural heritage music and its capacity as a method of conflict resolution and emotional healing in the wake on traumatic conflict.



Students for Africa
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Sierra Amon
Ally Walker
[email protected]
Students for Africa Executive Team Member

Ally is a second year MA candidate in International Development whose primary interests include gender, migration, and monitoring and evaluation, with a regional focus in East Africa. She received a BA in Anthropology from DePauw University in Greencastle, IN and studied at the University of Cape Town. Prior to pursuing her graduate degree, Ally spent two years working on English education and gender equity in rural Ethiopia as a Peace Corps Volunteer. She also has three years of experience in non-profit program management, working with East African refugees to promote self-sufficiency and integration at a grassroots nonprofit in northern Colorado. In addition to Students for Africa, Ally is the Associate Director of the Center on Human Rights Education and a Research Assistant with the Humanitarian Assistance Applied Research Group. In her free time, Ally loves hiking and searching for the best ethnic food in Denver.



Della Williams
Katie Hughes
[email protected]
Students for Africa Executive Team Member

Katie is pursuing a degree in International Development with a concentration in Democracy and Governance with a regional specialization in Sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to starting at Korbel, she spent four years as a communications manager in the nonprofit sector. She has studied in Ghana and China, and loves to travel and explore Colorado with her husband. Katie hopes to work for the U.S. Government after finishing her degree and recently completed an internship with the Department of State in the Bureau of African Affairs. Her long-term career goal is to be in a leadership position in the U.S. Government or NGO sector driving strategic direction and overseeing policy or program development.